Understanding the Millennial Student Area Manager Training October 2008 Presented by Gary Conner Director Student Lifestyle and Programming
AGENDA Who are they? What are their characteristics? What are their expectations? How can you meet their expectations? How can you better communicate with them?
When You Were Born Affects: VALUES (early years mold your values) ATTITUDES (values shape your attitude) CHOICES (attitude determine your choices) Actions (values, attitudes and choices shape actions)
The Generational Cycle Represent people “moving through time” with a distinct image of themselves Each generation has a set of common beliefs and behaviors Each generation has a common location in history
WHO are the MILLENIALS? Children of late boomers and early GenXers “Babies on Board” of the early Reagan years “Have You Hugged Your Child Today” sixth graders of the early Clinton years Teens of Columbine
What has SHAPED their times? Focus on children and family Scheduled, Structured Lives Multiculturalism Terrorism Heroism Patriotism Parent Advocacy Globalism
Growing Up “Messages” Be smart – you are special (Nickelodeon, Baby Gap, Sports Illustrated for Kids) Leave no one behind (taught to be inclusive and tolerant of other religions and sexual orientations) MTV, VHI, USA TODAY Connect 24/7 (learned to be interdependent-on family, friends, and teachers) Achieve now! (right college, right preschool) Serve your community – think of the greater good
MILLENIALS ARE SPECIAL Generation of “wanted” children Central to their parents’ sense of purpose Many Boomer parents delayed having children until financially secure
MILLENIALS ARE SHELTERED Baby on Board signs were created for this generation Their well being has dominated legislation (child restraints, home products, movie/video ratings, campus security) Boomer parents tend to be over-protective Boomer parents find self definition in their children, wrestle with own mortality
MILLENIALS ARE CONFIDENT Raised by parents believing in the importance of self-esteem Optimistic yet practical Hopeful of the future Enjoy strong connections with their parents (“Helicopter” or “lawnmower” parents)
MILLENIALS ARE TEAM-ORIENTED They are used to being organized in teams They have spent much of their time working and learning in groups They have established tight peer bonds They are inclusive They have never shared a bedroom and are used to “me time.” They are somewhat self absorbed, even in a team situation
MILLENIALS ARE ACHIEVING They are very much into setting and meeting goals They have the benefit of best-educated parents They are the smartest ever with rising proficiency in math, science and standardized tests They are subject to mandatory testing
MILLENIALS ARE PRESSURED They are pushed to study hard They are pushed to succeed They are pushed to attend college They are pushed to choose careers that “pay off” nicely The pressure tends to manifest itself in angst, even depression at young age
MILLENIALS ARE CONVENTIONAL They identify with their parents’ values They feel close to their parents They are “rule followers” (if we give them clear rules they can understand) They accept authority-if they recognize it “Whatever” – passive approach to dissent Tend to be somewhat conservative in thought and action
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS Technology and Multitasking are a way of life Trial and error is the key learning strategy (Nintendo logic) They are used to bits and bytes, flash and color They are racially and ethnically diverse They want their parents involved (really involved) There is zero tolerance for delays
Ways to Equip Yourself for the Millennial Student
WEB USAGE Informational vs. Transactional Our usage vs. Students’ usage
ONLINE HABITS AND BEHAVIOR The younger the student, the more internet and computer savvy 82% are online daily Average 12 hours per week
THE CLASS OF 2009 ~ Preferences Information must be individually tailored Portability of information is critical Content must be dynamically generated ‘Lag Time’ is a foreign concept Web Surfing is passé
QUICK FACTS Just 53% of students say they are optimistic about the future of the country-down 22% in five years. Students spend close to 13 hrs per week on the internet but only 4.5 on homework. Students list updates in technology as their number one concern for their schools and living areas.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS INFORMATION? Know the students (be engaged) - trend watching; polls Determine your solution (connect) Does our web site compete? - mobility, uniqueness, interactivity Is it transferable to parents as information disseminating instrument?
Interactivity Engage them with technology – teach and inform with content Extend customer service (FAQs, email, phone, instant messaging) Do not neglect conventional information dissemination!
Summary… Comparison of Generations Millennial Students’ Expectations Understanding YOUR Students Areas of concentration for web sites: Mobility, uniqueness, interactivity
CONTACT INFORMATION Gary Conner Director Student Lifestyle and Programming
REFERENCES Generations Millenials Rising: The Next Great Generation Millenials Go To College “Look to the Web to Increase Recruitment” http://www.universitybusiness.com “The Information-Age Mindset, Changes in Students and Implications for Higher Education”, Jason L. Frand, EDUCAUSE Review “Understand the Millenial Generation to Manage Them Successfully” http://www.digitu.com/enews/012millenials.html
REFERENCES “Managing the Millenials” http://www.generationsatwork.com “Whassup? A Glimpse Into the Attitudes and Beliefs of the Millenial Generation” http://www.collegevalues.org/seereview.cfm “Digital Community Colleges and the Coming of the ‘Millenials’” http://www.thejournal.com “The Millenial Generation Comes to College” http://www.itc.virginia.edu/fall02 “Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millenials: Understanding the New Students”, Diana Oblinger, EDUCAUSE Review “State of our Nation’s Youth-2008-2009;Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans